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Comprehensive mapping of earth’s biodiversity is a priority to help prevent further biotic impoverishment and maintain ecosystem functions and services. Intergovernmental organizations, national governments, and non-governmental organizations have developed numerous approaches to map and monitor biodiversity priorities and to report on status and trends in biodiversity. The Essential Biodiversity Variable framework (EBV) and the BON in a Box tool are two of GEO BON’s primary vehicles for organizing and delivering technical information to its participants. Habitat structure is a priority for mapping from space. Lidar data from NASA’s Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) was used to develop a lidar based habitat EBV based on consistent and scalable workflow and incorporated into Colombia’s biodiversity observation framework.

Key Outcomes Include:

  • Refined the approach for developing vegetation profile classes for Colombia using GLAS lidar data and detailed ecosystem maps.
  • Developed canopy height predictions for ecoregions in Colombia and Brazil using radar and multispectral satellite data trained on aircraft lidar measurements. Map was updated with Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 texture metrics, reducing errors considerably
  • Initiated a collaboration with the Sinchi Amazonic Institute of Scientific Research, a non-profit institute of the Colombian government responsible for biodiversity assessments in the Colombian Amazon. They have shared more than 30 one hectare forest inventory plots spanning the Colombian Amazon which are being used to validate vegetation structure maps.
  • Initiated a collaboration with the BioModelos group to investigate how GEDI vegetation structure data can inform the Humboldt Institute’s ongoing species distribution modeling efforts.

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